Summary: The first of six sermons from Jeremiah about the temptation and ramifications of sexual sin and how to begin to break free from temptation. This message focuses on adultery.
For several weeks, I have been seeking the Lord about what our focus is to be for the next teaching series. I had several ideas rolling around in my head but none seemed to be ’right’.
1. Then out of the blue, during a prayer time, I felt led to turn to the book of Jeremiah, which hadn’t even been on my radar. And as I read portions of this book, there was one section in particular about which I had this very strong sense that this was God’s message to us for this season in time.
2. It was Jeremiah chapters 2-4. The more I read these chapters, the more convinced I became that God was wanting to speak to us from these chapters about a particular area of sin that the people in Jeremiah’s day were struggling with and that we also struggle with.
3. That area is sexual sin. In these chapters, God is speaking directly to His people--not to those outside a r’ship with Him--No. He is speaking to His beloved people, His chosen people, and He is sharing His heart about their sexual involvements.
4. Quite honestly, these chapters are a bit unnerving and unsettling because they are so raw--they are so passionate and direct. This is not someone else telling us what God thinks. This is God speaking directly to His beloved people.
B. And His heart is broken. You can feel it in these chapters. God is a broken hearted lover, speaking to His unfaithful spouse, exposing her sin and calling her back to Himself.
1. Now the similarities between that situation and ours are striking. For one thing, the people in these chapters have a r’ship with God.
2. We see in Jeremiah 3:4 that they called God "Father" and friend. They prayed to him. They were in r’ship with Him. But they lived in a very sexually obsessed culture.
3. For instance, on every high hill there was a ’temple’ where anyone could engage in sex with a temple prostitute--just drop in and do your thing. So sexual immorality was very accessible and acceptable.
4. Just like our culture. With pay per view television and the internet, sexual involvement is incredibly accessible. Any time of day, within moments-- a person can be completely absorbed in acting out any kind of sexual fantasy imaginable.
5. Even regular television is filled with this stuff. We are inundated with the message that sex is what life is all about. Statistics reveal that more and more kids are experimenting with and involved in various sexual activities--from porn, to oral sex, to intercourse you name it.
6. Just like in Jeremiah’s day, sexual involvement in any form is accessible and accepted by our culture. So that’s one similarity but there is another similarity as well.
C. In Jeremiah’s day, the people of God didn’t think it was any big deal. Throughout these chapters, we see God’s people saying, "I’m not sinning. This isn’t a big deal. No one’s getting hurt. Everyone’s doing it."
1. Just like us. We so easily rationalize our sexual immorality--our behind closed doors internet searches, our late night channel surfing, our eager anticipation of the sports illustrated Swimsuit edition, our sexual fantasies no one knows about, our adulterous flirting, our occasional pay per view purchase, our sexual involvement outside of marriage.
2. We say to ourselves, it’s no big deal. Everyone’s doing it. No one’s getting hurt.
D. Well God’s message in Jeremiah 2-3 is very clear and to the point: God is saying to us, ’This is a big deal. This a very serious issue that is sapping the life out of your r’ship with Me.’
1. So God says to us, let’s look at it together. I want to share with you My heart about this issue--for your own good. I want you to see this sin from My perspective rather than your culture’s perspective.
2. I think this is one of the reasons we struggle so much with sexual purity issues. It’s because we allow ourselves to get so inundated with our culture’s perspective, that we lose sight of seeing our sin from God’s perspective.
3. That seeing is hard to do but it is life giving to do. Are you willing to open your heart to see from God’s perspective? There may be a battle going on inside right now, saying "I don’t want to hear this." Which is a very strong indicator that you desperately need to hear this. You need to hear God’s heart about these things.
E. So let’s begin reading in chapter 2:1-3.
The word of the Lord came to me: "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: ’I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved Me and followed Me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of His harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’" declares the Lord.